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Sorry you had a fight with your kid and his partner. Hope it works out.

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The kids these days have not much of a future, or even present. If they focus on themselves sexuality-wise, well, I’d rather they were bringing a revolution, but I’m not going to judge them (signed) parent of a trans kid.

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i get the feeling that for Rod, a cigar is always a dick.

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

He’s in dire need of his friend the Louisiana exorcist.

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Any writer should be grateful if s/he can create even one phrase, no matter how short, that is For The Ages. "My friend the Louisiana exorcist" might just be Rod's chance at immortality, his "It was a dark and stormy night."

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"I, Rod Dreher, the Louisiana exorcist's friend"...would probly be followed by some voice offscreen saying "Whoa, buddy, slow down...I hardly know you"...

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

"Here’s a Times story in which you can read a then-little-know Steve Bannon raving about the film and how '99 per cent of the content in the media’s sewage pipes is the culture of death, not life.'"

Given how Republicans rely on baseless fear mongering, it's a huge load of chutzpah (a Satanic witch term, if I'm not mistaken (JK)) to make that complaint.

The again, given that conservatives refuse to criticize what they should criticize, all they have left to whine about is bullshit. Which, for that matter, they're the true snowflakes.

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Liberals essentially have a "live and let live" philosophy of mutual respect and kindness. This, among other things, makes them snowflakes in conservative eyes. Dreher and his nut-mates, on the other hand, see themselves as victims of this "totalitarian" attitude which might require them to tolerate other people. Unfortunately, while liberal snowflakes merely want people like Dreher to behave like human beings, perhaps even the good christians they profess to be, right-wing snowflakes want liberals dead. Thanks to "look what you made me do" liberal totalitarianism, Dreher's been asking "When do we start using the guns?" for a long time, just not in so many words.

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Eh. Who cares how perverters of language pervert language? Being wimps and cowards doesn’t compare snowflake-wise with how conservatives melt when faced with facts, truth and reality.

As for the Xians you reference, they’re heretics so their opinions as Xians are per se meaningless.

Too, the new kinder, gentler me has no great tolerance for the barbaric tribalism of conservatives. I’m too Old Testament to crank up sympathy for their pathologies. The empathy reaches here: they’re sick and should be helped and taken no more seriously than that.

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"My friend, the

Louisiana exorcist..." I love it when someone sounds like they are trying to parody themselves. Crazy meta, that.

"Moldy figs" is a great descriptive phrase! Does it pertain to anything in particular? It doesn't need to.

Satanic panic people following Donald Trump is...I mean, if anyone has Antichrist cooties it's Donald Trump.

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I've seen the expression "moldy figs" applied to anti-modern jazz critics of the late 40s & 50s like Philip Larkin.

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That's understandable!

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Yeah, that's where it comes from.

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Though Wikipedia says it goes back further. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moldy_figs

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

Roy, I read your Twitter reply to Jeet Heer the other day, when Jeet asserted that Dreher is “guileless.” Of course I agree with your counterpoint that Dreher is a vicious grifter, although his trans/homophobia, racism, and misogyny aren’t an act but are very, very real. His grift is just his more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger plea that the world he wants is really the best alternative for the common good.

But then I sigh; and, with a piece of scripture,

Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:

And thus I clothe my naked villiany

With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;

And seem a saint, when most I play the devil

Old Will knew a thing or two about pious grifters. These types have always been with us for as long as there has been religion.

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I always picture Rod as the Corrupt Cleric .

The gluttony thing is a tell.

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Is Brother Rod Chaucer’s Summoner?

“Well loved he garlic, onions, aye and leeks,

And drinking of strong wine as red as blood.

Then would he talk and shout as madman would.

And when a deal of wine he’d poured within,

Then would he utter no word save Latin.”

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He could rock

a tonsure.

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Is this Burton Raffel's translation of the Canterbury Tales?

RD as the Summoner is a good analogy: these were eccelesiastical court process servers, who often took it upon themselves to act as private investigators that would ask for a "donation" to look the other way...

Chaucer's Friar introduces his attack on summoners by stating:

"Pardee, ye may wel knowe by the name

That of a somonour may no good be sayd;

I praye that noon of you be yvele apayd.

A somonour is a rennere up and doun

With mandementz for fornicacioun,

And is ybet at every townes ende." (CT III.1280–5)

[In the exchange, the Summoner gets the upper hand, with his attack on Friars, telling maybe the best story in the collection, and a fantastic fart joke...]

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It was a translation I found online. I seem to remember better ones, but searching on my phone wasn’t easy, so I took what I found. In my college Chaucer course we read everything in Middle English. Ywis!

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If I recall, the only ecclesiastical figure to come off well in the Canterbury Tales was the Parson.

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Yes, but the Parson's story is dreary & almost anti-art -- a bummer of a conclusion really

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I remember not actually reading the Parson’s Tale because it is so dreary. We didn’t read every single one. Separately we did read Troilus & Cressida, which I’m sorry but I just didn’t care for.

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

Fantasy was my everpresent help in time of need as a nerdy kid in the sticks...Mom worried that I'd get "weird ideas" from all that sci fi/fantasy I sucked down in the '60's and 70's. If only she knew.

As awful as Asimov and Heinlein could be, as sexist as PK Dick and Phillip Jose Farmer were, they helped liberate me from the surly bonds of evangelical Xtianity.

I've come to think of the flights of religious fantasy that Dreher and the Anchoress and all the insane folks who fill the world with demons (remember Pat Robertson's "spirit filled police" empowered to detect and prosecute spiritual and supernatural crimes??) is their imaginations have been captured and channeled though the materials in their religious teachings..

Some malicious idiot is going to burn some poor deluded soul as a witch and claim it's protected by religious freedom..

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

Periodic reminder that there has never been an anti-lynching (because that's what it would be) bill passed by Congress.

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Reminder that neither party has cared about doing anything good for the masses, as a rule, since at least the 1980s (not to take anything away from an anti-lynching law.)

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

For me it was those writers, plus Edgar Rice Burroughs, Andre Norton, and Ursula Le Guin. I remember lying on my back on a lakeside dock, middle of summer, after dark (there may have been fireflies) concentrating so hard, trying to send myself to Barsoom. There is a balm in fantasy.

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I remember Tad Williams' Tailchaser's Song, the Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle, Watership Down by Richard Adams. And fantasy was my pipeline into so-called "literature" by way of Kurt Vonnegut & HP Lovecraft. I was a huge Tolkien nerd as well.

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remember Pat Robertson's "spirit filled police" empowered to detect and prosecute spiritual and supernatural crimes??

Wasn't there a video game some church was trying to hock back then, featuring anti-demon police sweeping through a blasted urban hellscape shooting down (only coincidentally, I'm sure) dark-colored "demons" pushing condom use, etc?

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I just remember the Simpsons version of the game, in which Bart and Lisa are shooting infidels who become born-again Christians when you hit them.

LISA: I got him!

BART: Nah, you just winged him. Now he's a Unitarian.

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

People like Rod are worried that you will turn to the occult to answer your questions, deal with your problems, explain the nature of your world. Rod prefers--demands, actually--that you turn to the Great Being that Dwells in the Sky who, along with His Son/Not Son and The Holy Spirit, rules over Heaven and Earth with Omniscience and Omnipotence.

Well, with limited omniscience and omnipotence. Eh, when you think about it, with no power at all. Indeed, in the telling of most evangelicals, their God is completely powerless in the face of a book or a movie, absolutely unable to overcome the influence of a random man wearing a dress, and vulnerable to destruction by anyone who stops to think for themselves.

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

And Dreher's "spiritual" procession has been a march to fascism--literal state-sponsored bigotry.

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

These guys never imagine what might happen if they unleashed their treasured state enforced religion and then someone not them grabbed the reins.

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The essence of fascism is projecting an enemy that is simulatnaeously contemptibly weak & everywhere ready to take total control.

Anyways, the idea of the devil is entirely Roman-era fanfic

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

"My friend, the Louisiana exorcist, strongly warned against it (and told pretty scary personal stories to explain his point)."

His cousin's friend once played Dungeons and Dragons on Halloween night, and his balls swelled up so badly he had to cancel his wedding?

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I HATE it when that happens.

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To be fair, he rolled a natural one on his saving throw... what do you expect?

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A boy who wears a dress on special occasions like Halloween isn't necessary genderfluid. (I did as a kid, and I'm as cis-gendered as anyone out there.) Hasn't Rod Dreher ever heard of drag? Or do we have to lock him in a room with nothing but DVDs of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Some Like it Hot, & Tootsie to comfort him until he comes to his senses?

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"Drag Story Hour"? More like "Drag Me to Hell Story Hour"

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

There is always Bugs Bunny.

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"comes" is doing a lot of work in this sentence

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Maybe Dreher blocked it out his mind having seen Giuliani in drag.

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

An amazing example of this is the renaissance of an early focus of Satanic Panic, Dungeons and Dragons, as a safe space for marginalized groups. https://youtu.be/9gUcx45ryT0

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

Every word, Roy. Bravo.

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

There's no actual war on Christmas but there sure is one against Halloween.

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And it's not going well at all, if a trip to the big-box stores this time of year is any indication. Although I suppose that's just another manifestation of Woke Capitalism.

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It gets weirder:

Our neighbors in the apartment down the hall place a relatively elaborate buncha Haloweenie stuff outside their door every year. Lotsa punkins along with the fall corn, some spooky headstones and the like.

This year somebody stole half of it(!) Seriously. Somebody on the 9th floor of this posh apartment building in one of the poshest parts of DC stole some little kid stuff...

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

“when you get home from that you can rely on fantasy to rewrite the script”

I often think of the MST3K episode “The Girl in Lovers Lane,” where at the end Crow and Servo were very angry that the nice lady died in the (bad) movie. Joel replied, “You don’t have to accept the ending they gave you. You can write your own ending.” —which led to Crow and Servo enthusiastically rewriting the ending with increasingly hilarious and incongruous plot elements. And they were happy.

Servo: “And then there’s a twist, and then you learn something, and then you go home.”

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"and why Halloween still gives them the willies"

This is just fucking icy-diamond rhetoric here, yo

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

The older I get, the more I realize that this world is full of pain, and all of us really should feel some obligation to just help our fellow humans get by, or at the very fucking least, not to add to the sum total of pain that already exists.

But there are people - and I'm using the term loosely there - who think that pain is "character-building" or even "purifying" who will resist all attempts to make life less pain-filled, and i don't really know what to say about these people any more, except that they should hire a Dom and go at it if they love pain so goddamn much, and just leave the rest of us the fuck alone.

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Oct 28, 2021Liked by Roy Edroso

Great work, Roy. I came for the crazy Dreher and got a thoughtful flip on fantasy, shame and fear. I hope you're right and we'll escape the looming new dark ages. I remember the satanic panic. I used to get my yuks following the different strains of High Weirdness. But then the Internet made this accessible to everyone with a modem, 24/7. And it didn't seem so funny. Maybe I just grew up. But it strikes me how little has changed with QAnon or David Icke or even the vaccine refuseniks. And there are still people in jail based on the imaginations of impressionable little kids and guys like the exorcist whisperer. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/08/24/accused-of-satanism-they-spent-21-years-in-prison-they-were-just-declared-innocent-and-were-paid-millions/

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